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Andrew Yang is among top 3 Democratic presidential candidates — based on new web traffic data

Tech entrepreneur and presidential candidate Andrew Yang ranks third among Democratic presidential candidates when it comes to traffic to campaign websites, according to new numbers compiled by analytics firm SimilarWeb.

Among the more than 20 candidates seeking the Democratic party’s nomination for president, Senator Bernie Sanders led the pack with 12.7% of total traffic or about 1.82 million visits to his web page berniesanders.com. Senator Elizabeth Warren steered 8.6% of the traffic, or about 1,24 million visits, to her webpage elizabethwarren.com and Yang had 6.1% of the traffic or about 875,000 visits to his page yang2020.com. Yang was followed by Senator Kamala Harris, former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind.

“For me, Yang is a surprise,” said Pascal Cohen, the head of solution implementation and engineering for North America at SimilarWeb, which analyzed daily web traffic to candidates’ sites following the first Democratic debates in late June through July 26. “Yang is ranked third which is a big surprise that he is generating so much traffic and voter attention. Here he is as a newcomer basically competing against hard seasoned Democrats.”

Yang’s campaign spokesman Randy Jones would not discuss the Yang campaign’s digital strategy but said: “We are on message. That is the power of the Yang gang right there.”

After the first Democratic debates

Presidential candidate Kamala Harris had a surge in web traffic just after the first Democratic debates in June but Bernie Sanders holds the top spot going into the second round of debates.

Harris saw web traffic to her page kamalaharris.org surge 382% on the day just after the June debates compared to the day before the debates started. Buttigieg saw a similar 294% jump in visits to his web page peteforamerica.com. Yang’s gain was smaller, 69%. It was less than Biden’s bump 172%, but greater than Sander’s, 26%, and Warren’s, 16%.

Heading into the second debates, the SimilarWeb data analysis shows visits to Harris’s and Buttigieg’s web pages slowed, while Yang’s is picking up steam.

“Clearly the candidate, the teams message and our strategy are working very well and we are proud of it,” Jones said. “I am glad people are picking up on this we’ve known about it for quite some time.”

SIOUX CITY, IOWA - JULY 19: Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang speaks during the AARP and The Des Moines Register Iowa Presidential Candidate Forum on July 19, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Turning traffic into cash

SimilarWeb also analyzed traffic redirected from each candidate’s web page to the Democratic party’s fundraising platform ActBlue. However, SimilarWeb only measures traffic, not actual donations visitors make after they are redirected from a candidates page to the ActBlue.

“There was a lot of media coverage that Sanders is getting a lot of donations” and the data helps explain how, Cohen said.

Sanders leads the Democratic candidates in total traffic redirected from a candidate’s web page to ActBlue — 63.1%. Warren’s rate was 13.9% followed by Biden, 5.1%, and Harris, 3.8%, and then Yang at 2.9%.

“We are ecstatic about the small dollar donations that have come for Andrew’s candidacy for president,” Jones said.

The Yang campaign raised $2.8 million in the second quarter, according to filings with the Federal Elections Commission, but that doesn’t take into account donations which would have been made after the first debates.

But the FEC filing also shows the Yang campaign spent more in the second quarter than it raised. Jones declined to discuss the campaign’s current financial health.

Yang’s second-quarter fundraising total is much smaller than Buttigieg’s $24.8 million, Sander’s $24 million and Biden’s $21.5 million.

“When you look at traffic to donation pages Sanders is winning overall,” said Cohen, with 919,657 visitors from Sanders web page being redirected to ActBlue. The number for Yang was a mere 42,070. But Jones pointed out to Yahoo Finance that more than 130,000 individuals have donated money to Yang’s campaign over the past several quarters.

It’s clear that Yang plans to stick around. On Monday he tweeted: "We are in this for the long haul. Thank you all for your support” telling his supporters he had become the eighth Democratic candidate to qualify for the third and fourth round of debates.

Adam Shapiro is co-anchor of Yahoo Finance On the Move.

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